Psychological Topics (Dec 2011)

Self-reported Emotional and Social Intelligence and Empathy as Distinctive Predictors of Narcissism

  • Lara Delič,
  • Petra Novak,
  • Jan Kovačič,
  • Andreja Avsec

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 20, no. 3
pp. 477 – 488


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In the study, we were interested in the association between narcissism and three psychological constructs, which are considered important in interpersonal relationships – emotional intelligence (EI), social intelligence (SI) and empathy. We supposed that narcissism is positively correlated with EI and with the processing of social information and social skills facets of SI. At the same time, negative correlations between narcissism and social awareness and empathy were expected. The results were gathered upon 306 participants aged from 19 to 26 years (242 females and 64 males), who completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), the Emotional Skills and Competence Questionnaire (ESCQ), the Tromsø Social Intelligence Scale (TSIS) and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). The results supported the assumption of positive association between narcissism, EI and SI, while accompanying negative association with empathy. EI, social skills, perspective taking, emphatic concern and age together explain 28% of variance in predicting narcissism. Results support our expectation about differential relationship of EI, SI, and empathy with narcissism and thus confirming differential validity of these three constructs.